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Democracy and Democratization in Africa

Towards the 21st Century


Edited by Udogu

The 9 contributors to this volume are Africanists whose comprehension of the political "vernacular" of Africa helped to sharpen their analyses of a continent on the eve of a new millennium and in the aftermath of the Cold War. The debate over the most relevant political models for African countries has till recently been conducted against a backdrop of the competing claims of socialism and capitalism. Attempts to consolidate democracy and constitutional have taken place in the shadow of intractable economic problems, prompting the question of whether democracy can survive in Africa without economic prosperity. The papers published here address many of these problems, as well as dealing with the questions of ethnicity, leadership, the power of the military, and prodemocracy movements within African nation states.

Voices that Reason

Theoretical Parables


Ari Sitas

Voices that Reason is a path-breaking work. The author has charted the thoroughfares that speed the thought of many black South Africans towards specific expectations, grievances and actions. The present work constitutes an important and thought-provoking culmination of a generation's worth of disparate but related revisionist thinking within the social sciences and history of South Africa.

The Man of Heaven and the Beautiful Ones of God

Writings from Ibandla lamaNazaretha, a South African Church


Elizabeth Gunner

The role of Africans in the growth and process of Christianity in South Africa in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In particular the book provides an insight into the role of writing and literacy in the church founded by the South African prophet, Isaiah Shembe, in 1910.
The book provides a substantial, contextualising introduction which includes discussion of the church’s history and its position in contemporary South Africa, and weaves in discussion of the topics of literacy and modernity. The book then moves to the three documents, presented in their language of composition, Zulu and in an English translation. The three ‘books’, each from Shembe’s Nazareth Baptist Church, provide the reader with a fascinating insight into the growth and organisation of one of southern Africa’s most influential African Churches, and into the use and interpretation of the Bible by the church’s founder, Isaiah Shembe, and by church members. Central to the writings is the complex presence of Shembe, present both through his own words in the first book and, in the second book, through the memory of Meshack Hadebe, a member of the church in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The extracts in the third book provide a glimpse of the church’s hymnal and the unique religious poetry of the hymns, authored by Shembe.

African Charismatics

Current Developments within Independent Indigenous Pentecostalism in Ghana


Johnson Asamoah-Gyadu

This volume examines Pentecostal/charismatic renewal in an African context. Ghanaian Pentecostalism in its modern charismatic form has become the most visible expression of renewal within indigenous Christianity. The book first articulates the contribution of the older African initiated churches (AICs) to local Christianity arguing that, in spite of a present decline, the AICs have left an enduring theological imprint on indigenous Christian expression. Furthermore, it accounts for the rise of the new independent churches, the charismatic ministries. These have been proliferating across the West Africa sub-region since the late 1970s. In addition to this, the book explores how the emphases of the new Ghanaian charismatics—internationalism, transformation, prosperity, healing and deliverance—provide useful insights into the nature of modern African Pentecostal spirituality.


Edited by Karen Middleton

The peoples of Madagascar are renowned for the prominence they give to the dead. In this edited volume, regional specialists reassess the significance of ancestors for changing relations of power, emerging identities, and local historical consciousness.
Case-studies include The Royal Bath of 1817 (Pier Larson), Succession in an Urbanized Sakalava Kingdom (Lesley Sharp), The Antankaraìa Ritual Cycle (Michael Lambek, Andrew Walsh), Nineteenth-Century Norwegian Missionary Culture (Karina Hestad Skeie), Sacrifice on the East Coast (Jennifer Cole), Violence among the Zafimaniry (Maurice Bloch), and Circumcision and Colonialism in the South (Karen Middleton).
Three further chapters present original research on slavery, memory, and cultural politics in the Highlands (Sandra Evers, David Graeber, Françoise Raison-Jourde). Diversity and complexity make this volume a valuable addition to the literature on ritual and religion.


Ashraf Jamal

Symptomatic of an emergent shift away from prescriptive and deterministic accounts of change in South Africa, Predicaments of culture in South Africa posits an open-ended and speculative approach to the question and agency of culture. The key question, posed by Justice Albie Sachs of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, ‘what does it mean to be a South African?’ is shifted from its familiar ontological and epistemological habitat, ‘what is identity?’, the better to embrace its ethical and political rider, ‘what are identities for?’, and its more pragmatic possibility, ‘what can identities do?’ These qualifications – Bhabha’s – form the building blocks that skew and enrich existing presumptions about South Africa’s history, its present moment and its future.

Jamal challenges and qualifies the conflicting and contiguous drives of fatalism, positivism and relativism, which are the dominant claimants upon the South African cultural imaginary. It is this critical non-positionality that forms the distinctive trait of an inquiry which, in eschewing allegiance and closure, opens up the debate about what it means to be South African and the role of culture therein.

‘In hindsight, and with the hither side of the future before us’, Jamal’s driving assumption is that ‘world society is advancing towards yet another age of ignorance;
an age beyond suspicion and irony, in which thought, whether self-critical or not, is no longer the agent of reason’. Jamal calls for an urgent reappraisal of the absence of love – of lovelessness – which he sees as the infected root of South Africa’s inability to create a positively affirmative cultural imaginary.

Democracy X

Marking the Present, Re-presenting the Past


Edited by Andries Oliphant, Peter Delius and Lalou Meltzer

This book is a catalogue and a reader. It is the companion to the exhibition "Democracy X' held in Cape Town 2004. It also explores a range of historical, cultural and political matters around the 10th anniversary of the new democratic South-Africa.
Richly illustrated, this book includes essays of eminent writers about topics such as the Boer War, the Iron Age, ethnic politics, nationalism, film and popular media.

Religion in a Pluralistic Society

Essays Presented to Professor C.G. Baëta in Celebration of his Retirement from the Service of the University of Ghana, September 1971, by Friends and Colleagues Scattered over the Globe


Edited by Pobee

Livelihoods and Landscapes

The People of Guquka and Koloni and their Resources


Edited by Paul Hebinck and Peter Lent

Drawing on original data, secondary literature, aerial photographs and archives, this book analyzes changes in the use of the landscape and the nature of rural livelihoods in two South African villages. Taking an interdisciplinary approach on how livelihoods and landscapes in the Eastern Cape link the text provides a comprehensive study of the patterns of land use over time. Three separate chapters focus on cropping and cultivation practices, livestock and foraging as well as the gathering of wild plants. The book gives a vivid picture of the social dynamics and the interaction between ‘urban’ and ‘rural’. It depicts the steady deterioration in agricultural production and the corresponding increase in dependence on social grants and wages. Despite this trend remnants of a peasantry do exist.

The Bible in Africa

Transactions, Trajectories, and Trends

Edited by Gerald West and Musa Dube

This first academic glimpse of the Bible as it is read in Africa and what African biblical scholars are up to explores the myriad ways Africans have made the Bible their own. Replete with diversity and complexity, the essays allow an intertextual conversation within the book to take place. Divided into five main sections, the book includes essays on, among other topics, the historical development of biblical interpretation in Africa, the relationship between African biblical scholarship and scholarship in the West, African resources for reading the Bible, the history and role of vernacular translation in particular African contexts, and the ambiguity of the Bible in Africa. Perhaps of greatest importance to scholars, this book contains the most comprehensive bibliography on the Bible in Africa available in print.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please
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